Steamboat Springs City Council to discuss pay plan for employee salary increases

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The Steamboat Springs City Council already approved $600,000 worth of city employee pay raises in early November, and on Tuesday night, the newly formed pay plan will show 2014 adjusted pay scales for individual jobs.

Past Event

Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

  • Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 5 p.m.
  • Centennial Hall, 124 10th St., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free

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City Manager Deb Hinsvark said a full-market pay adjustment was proposed, but the council found it a little too aggressive. The $600,000 figure was $138,000 less than the city’s original proposal, but comparatively speaking, plenty of city employees will see significant salary growth.

Along with pay raises, Hinsvark said job descriptions were redone to be more specific and accurate and will be discussed during the pay plan’s second reading at Tuesday’s meeting, which starts at 5 p.m. at Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Some job titles and job descriptions were changed entirely to reflect the workers’ true duties.

“We’ve looked at a lot of different comparatives and done position-by-position (analysis). Because of this down term, we laid off and cut back jobs, and people began to do different jobs than their description stated," Hinsvark said. "We did adjust quite a few job descriptions to discuss the real job they’re doing.”

A group of employees who should see significantly more money in their pockets are utility workers, like water treatment plant employees or heavy equipment operators.

Hinsvark said oil field operators were making twice as much as city utility employees in some cases, causing workers to drift away from Steamboat jobs. The new pay plan shows minimum income for utility operators and utility technicians jumping from $34,144 in 2013 to $37,988 in 2014.

The pay plan also shows minimum pay for plant A operators — also under the utility worker designation — as receiving a nearly $7,000 income bump, from $41,502 in 2013 to $48,484 in 2014.

She said that utility laborers on average were 14 to 17 percent off the grid on their pay scale, and during the winter season, snowplowers and other machine operators are critical. In comparison with multiple other cities’ employees — about eight to 10 cities — the city of Steamboat noticed a change was needed.

“We’ve really tried to focus on those comparisons and those changes to keep our long-term and experienced staff,” Hinsvark said.

Also part of the pay plan to be read through Tuesday are salary bonus discussions for long-term and efficient city workers. Hinsvark cited late-night bus drivers as an example.

The City Council also will discuss individual roles for those who will serve on the 2A steering committees. The council voted to form the committees Nov. 19 as helpers in overseeing how the city’s lodging tax dollars will be spent for local trails and the Yampa River Promenade.

As a reference guide in deciding the committee members’ roles, Hinsvark said she is including the Urban Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee plan, established in April 2008. She said she envisions the 2A steering committees taking on a similar direction.

“Tuesday night we want to find out what those roles will be,” Hinsvark said. “We assume it will be an advisory committee that will have a longer life than a single task advisory committee. (The URAAC) is another long-term advisory committee and I thought that might give them a starting place for the discussion.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

Comments

Scott Wedel 1 year ago

I hope the Trials Alliance realizes that tomorrow's meeting is absolutely critical for their goal of additional trails. The composition of the 2A steering committee could end up as dominated by the Trails Alliance with basically advisers from lodging and other groups so that the best trails are built. Or the composition of the 2A steering committee could be stacked with people with other priorities that view the 2A revenues as a means to achieve their pet projects.

I note that the entire $6M for trails could be spent on extending the core trail to the Legacy Ranch, paths along Yampa St and bridges over the Yampa River.

If the Trails Alliance does not show up in force tomorrow then then the city will conclude that the Trails Alliance does not care about to composition of the 2A steering committee. And thus, the Trails Alliance will largely lose their ability to direct which trails should have the highest priority.

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Eric Meyer 1 year ago

Tomorrow is important. It is not when the committee members are selected, but more on the details of roles and responsibilities and other formalities.

Applications to be on either committee are due Friday and the interviews are planned for dec 17th. Hopefully council will keep the trail projects moving forward by having the first meeting of the committee on dec 18th instead of waiting until after the holidays when some very big decisions will be coming on project prioritization. Only about 30% of the projects are funded without grants and money stretching options that should be considered.

Trails has 5.1 dedicated over ten years with the balance of the 6.6 million from 2A going to yampa street (900,000), haymaker ($300,000) & marketing ($300,000). Any excess will be up to council on likely an annual basis.

It is very easy to make the trails project work out really well, but there is also plenty of opportunity for council or the committee to use a really good road map and take a wrong turn. We'll be there to warn about those potential wrong turns, but it will ultimately be up to council in the end.

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jerry carlton 1 year ago

Taxpayers, bend over, grab your ankles and get ready to vote for another tax increase.

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